Webpages have two primary “meta tags” that are available to edit and can have a huge impact on how search engines list, and how web users interact, with those pages.
The easiest way to explain them is to show them as to how they appear in a Search Engine like Google. A random search performed using the term “Small Business Marketing Tips” shows this search result:
Marketing Tips – Small Business Trends (The Meta Title Tag)
The best marketing tips for small business and startups. Thousands of expert how-to insights, tools, advice and tested ways for promoting your company. (This is The Meta Description Tag)
There are “Best Practice Rules” to be followed when constructing these two Meta Tags,
(1) There is a limit to the number of characters available, if you exceed those limits, the text will be truncated and not show in the search results.
(2) The Title Tag should reflect the primary term you want the page to show up for in the search results, should be listed first, followed by the company name,
(3) The Title Tag should make it absolutely clear what the webpage will be about
(4) In the case of the Description Tag, the “primary search term(s)” should be included, as it will be “bolded” for emphasis.
(5) Both of these Tags should be unique, and not duplicated on any other webpage.
The purpose behind the “Title Tag” is to communicate the searcher what they can expect to find on the webpage, and make a determination if that will be a match for what they are looking for. The Title Tag content is a known search engine ranking factor.
The “Description Tag”, although not used as a ranking factor, provides an opportunity to expand on what kind of information will be found on the webpage. This can have a huge impact on whether or not the link is clicked or not. It is a wasted opportunity not to include a well-crafted Description Tag.
An easy and free tool to determine what your Meta Title and Description tags look like can be found here:
Simply add your webpage in the input block and click the “Generate Preview Button.”
Your Meta Title and Description tag for the page will be displayed as it would be in Google. If your tags are too “short” or too “long” the tool will reflect this.
If you are not comfortable with making permanent changes to your website’s meta tags, an inexpensive option may be to publish a request for help from a freelancer on www.Fiver.com.
If your website is managed by a web developer, these changes can be made with very little effort.